The central arterial burden of the metabolic syndrome is similar in men and women: The SardiNIA Study

Angelo Scuteri, Samer S. Najjar, Marco Orru', Gianluca Usala, Maria Grazia Piras, Luigi Ferrucci, Antonio Cao, David Schlessinger, Manuela Uda, Edward G. Lakatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims We evaluated whether specific clusters of metabolic syndrome (MetS) components differentially impact on arterial structure and function, and whether the impact is similar in men and in women.Methods and results Components of the MetS and arterial properties were assessed in 6148 subjects, aged 14-102 in a cluster of four towns in Sardinia, Italy. MetS was defined in accordance with the ATP III criteria. Age groups were classified as: <35, 35-49, 50-64, and ≥65 years. Systolic blood pressure (BP), diastolic BP, pulse pressure, common carotid artery (CCA) diameter, intima-media thickness, distensibility, strain, stiffness index, wall stress, and aortic pulse wave velocity were measured. Common carotid artery plaque was defined as focal encroachment of the arterial wall and CCA calcification as acoustic shadowing. In any age group, subjects with MetS presented thicker, stiffer or less distensible, and wider large arteries than controls. The arterial burden of MetS increased as the number of altered MetS components increased. However, not all MetS components were associated with the same changes in arterial properties. In fact, specific clusters of MetS components, i.e. any combination of altered glucose tolerance, elevated BP, and elevated triglycerides (with or without abdominal obesity), dramatically increased age-associated arterial changes. The impact of MetS on arterial function was similar in men and women.ConclusionMetS accelerates age-associated arterial changes, even in older persons. However, not all the clusters of MetS components render the same burden on arterial structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-613
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean heart journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Carotid IMT
  • Gender
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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